Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.—I THESS. v. 11.
Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.—MATT. xix. 19.
So others shall Take patience, labor, to their heart and hand,
From thy hand, and thy heart, and thy brave cheer,
And God’s grace fructify through thee to all.
The least flower with a brimming cup may stand,
And share its dewdrop with another near.
E. B. BROWNING.
What is meant by our neighbor we cannot doubt; it is every one with whom we are brought into contact. First of all, he is literally our neighbor who is next to us in our own family and household; husband to wife, wife to husband, parent to child, brother to sister, master to servant, servant to master. Then it is he who is close to us in our own neighborhood, in our own town, in our own parish, in our own street. With these all true charity begins. To love and be kind to these is the very beginning of all true religion. But, besides these, as our Lord teaches, it is every one who is thrown across our path by the changes and chances of life; he or she, whosoever it be, whom we have any means of helping,—the unfortunate stranger whom we may meet in travelling, the deserted friend whom no one else cares to look after.